We are located 4 miles north of Cirencester, between the villages of North Cerney, and Woodmancote. From A435 you take the turning towards Bagendon, go up past the Church to the T junction. Turn right towards Woodmancote and Scrubditch Farm is approximately 100 yards on the right. The Care Farm is situated down the drive, up the track on the left.
From A417, turn off at Perrotts Brook/Daglingworth, and proceed towards Perrotts Brook. Just before the A435, turn left towards Woodmancote. Go for approximately 1 1/2 miles and Scrubditch Farm is on the right, just past the Bagendon/North Cerney Cross Roads.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Week 10!

Our last week of the Spring Session - we are finishing a week earlier, so that the students can come back early, and hopefully not miss out on the ewes lambing...!  They are looking great - getting hungrier by the day - we have had to put electric fencing round the hen & duck houses to make sure the Ewes don't get in and eat the layers pellets - Lucy lost a goat last year that had eaten loads of layers pellets!
Our two new arrivals - the weaners, have settled in really well - i did have to call on Alan to come out for a morning this week, to do some fence maintenance - the pen they are in was originally built for hens, and so the wire was not up to much straining! We now have a new gate, with proper fixings, and the wire is all attached to the heavy telegraph poles round the edge.  They love lying around in the sun; digging up the pen and scratching! ' Fiver' has returned from Coln House School, which is lovely - although i think she may have bought some rather unwelcome visitors with her (mites!) so she's had a warm soapy bath today...!   She keeps the chicks company; they now spend the day in the poly tunnel, and come back to the heat lamp at night - will hopefully be able to put them in the pheasant pen before too long.  The bantam cockerel was picking on Fiver again, and she seems most at home following us around or in the poly tunnel!  We were given some quail eggs (hopefully fertile) so i have put them in the incubator - 18 days to go...
Last Friday we went to Gloucester, to King Fishers Church, with friends from the Owl Barn, to see Danny, one of our students in a play - a 'take' on the Oscars - it was brilliantly organised and great fun!
The students are due to start back week beginning 16 April - so will not be too much blogging till then..

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Week 9

The Oxford & Sandy Brown Litter
This week has been full of ups and downs....!  Ups being the arrival of our two piglets on Monday afternoon - we all (our Monday group) went to pick up our weaners from Chedworth.  A lovely small holding, with a large flock of Wiltshire Horns, and a litter of Oxford & Sandy Browns.  (See attached photos)  It was great to see them both, and get an idea of what our lambs will look like when they arrive next month!  No. 1 and No. 2 piglets have settled in really well to their new surroundings. 
One of the Wiltshire Horn Ewes
with their lamb!
However, on a sad note, we had moved all the hens & ducks into the field with their houses, and i forgot to shut them in properly on monday night and Mr (or Mrs) Fox had Jake our drake, and one of our best laying hens and one of the bantam cockerels....just shows you can't take any chances.  The foxes are always out and about at this time of year, as we are lambing in earnest on the other side of the track.  See photo of the chedworth Wiltshire who's lamb is wearing a red 'coat' made of plastic that 'rustles' in order to ward off any predators - it also doubles as some protection from the rain!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Week 8

We've been really busy this week - exciting news....we have two piglets arriving!! They are 'Oxford & Sandy Browns' - weaners, that we are going to bring on and sell for pork!  We've been busy moving the hens and ducks into the field and moving an arc into their 'spot'! - a very good suggestion from Karen, on of our volunteers! 
Next - Chicks...we have 5 chicks, arrived on Thursday,  from our incubator - not sure if we will get any more...not a particularly good strike rate from 15 but....never mind - the 5 look very healthy!
As we were busy getting ready for the weaner arrivals, we didn't make it up to the 'Owl Barn', but the Art students decided to come and give us a hand instead! Thank you to John & Emily (and Nick) we really appreciated it! 
On a sad note, Lavinia one of the ducks, was really poorly and we had to make a horrid decision to have her put down on Monday evening - she looked as if she had a horrid virus, and wasn't moving about at all - we will miss her.  Still, hopefully we will get a replacement before long.

We have also started feeding the ewe lambs this week - they are getting really big, and they stop eating as much grass & hay, so we need to give them more protein by way of sheep nuts, to safe guard the twins.

May have found another arc....! We mended the ancient one in the field that our Ewes like hiding in when it's wet - they have short fleeces and do not like rain - but have just heard about another one going;  locally...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Weeks 6 and 7

Well, at last the weather has improved!   We have had a busy couple of weeks - Ben and William worked really hard on Mondays, making us some lambing shelters out of pallets - ready for April!  We are hoping to lamb the ewes outside - weather permitting, as they definately prefer it.  'Lamby, Mary Jane, March & June' are all looking blooming!  We had to give them their first dose of Heptavac (flu/tetnus) jab yesterday - Alan our new volunteer is proving extremely useful, having worked on a farm for years previously!

  Last Wednesday we were very fortunate to have a private tour of a special garden at Winstone 'Cotswold Farm Gardens'.  Their snowdrops are amazing - whilst we were being shown round, the owner was taking a well known local gardener round, checking snow drop names; making sure they were all correct - ready for Open Gardens!  We have been given some lovely dogwood plants that were being thrown out, and yesterday Bob & Mike, helped by Simon, planted them all out on our very stony back - we are hoping they will survive and make a lovely 'Dogwood Bank'!

With the lovely sun yesterday, and more forecast along with some rain, we took the bull by the horns and planted out our sweet pea plants, that  we grew from seed last Autumn....we'll see if they survive!

Up at the 'Owl Barn'
At half term, Ella and i put 16 eggs in Sally Ann's incubator - we've been checking them regularly, and on Monday, Curtis helped us 'candle' them to see if they are fertile!  They are due to start hatching next week so....watch this space!! 

We were very sad to say goodbye to 2 of our volunteers this week - Ben and Bob.  They have been with us from the beginning, and we will really miss their valuable input.  Ben, particularly for his woodwork skills, and Bob for his gardening, and wild life knowledge.  We wish them both well, and hope they will keep in touch.